Financial Markets and Financial Institutions
Fall 2017 - Aaron Tornell is a great professor. He is very engaging and enthusiastic, which makes the class very fun. He ties in economic theory with real-world events going on as we speak, so everything you learn always feels relevant. Call me if you need the book, (949)395-6639
Fall 2019 - One of my least favorite econ classes to date. As someone who has never taken a finance class before this, I found the material pretty interesting but difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, the only reason I was able to understand anything was through reading the textbook (which I found out I had to do anyways after the midterm). Professor Williams isn't that great of a lecturer (they tend to be pretty confusing and irrelevant imo), and the material he goes over isn't even necessarily tested. He goes over some topics from the book and then introduces new ones not in it. Literally, don't go to lecture. The midterm and final are tested straight from the book, and since he doesn't even go over all the material from the book during lecture, they're completely useless. There's also a 10 page research paper you're required to do, which should be an easy A if you just put the time and effort into it. I won't go into too much detail, but the proctoring for his midterm was an absolute shit show and one of the main reasons I disliked this class (outside having to learn the material on my own). We were supposed to have 95 questions and extra time to finish it, but there was an issue with printing or something so we were given the first half with no explanation followed by the other half over midway through and no time after lecture was over. This really through me off and I know a lot of other students were also p.o. with him. Professor William's response was that there was nothing he could really do about it, so I guess that's that. Anyways, take this class if you don't attend lectures anyway and can get away with reading 5+ chapters the night before the exams.
Spring 2021 - Professor Williams presents interesting and real-world relevant financial market topics in an engaging and effective manner--particularly so for an online environment. Personally, I was amazed by how much my understanding of options and puts improved after the first few lectures on these topics, which seemed like a daunting foreign language at the onset. I also enjoyed being able to apply previously acquired accounting and macroeconomic course material to this course. The course is efficiently structured, with two exams and a term paper that allows students to delve into a financial topic of particular interest--with all the room for creative exploration and research. Professor Williams provides optional practise problems in order to help students strengthen their understanding of lecture material, and teaches students quite-necessary Excel skills along the way. The exams are fair and reflective of course topics as stated on the syllabus. The textbook is quite helpful--the chapter readings complement lectures. Overall, this engaging course is exceptionally taught and wonderfully structured by a highly knowledgeable and practised instructor who genuinely prioritises student learning and interest.